Center for the Visual Arts
The University of Toledo’s Department of Art provides baccalaureate instruction to just under 250 undergraduate majors in studio art, art education and art history, and graduate instruction to approximately 20 master's/masters degree students in art education. The Department also serves general university students and faculty, currently about 3,400 student enrollments per year.
The Department’s home is the Center for the Visual Arts (CVA), a four-story building designed by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry and dedicated in 1993. Physically attached to the ground floor of the Toledo Museum of Art, the CVA provides students and faculty direct access to the Museum’s world-class collections of western and non-western art.
Key features of the CVA’s design are its collage of glass and metal boldly sculptural forms, and careful and surprising reflection of the museum’s more traditional classical forms. Interior spaces feature exposed structural beams, columns, and steel decking, all of which are painted white. Most walls are also white, with doors, baseboards and some built-in furniture warmly executed in vertical-grain Douglas fir. A few spaces are highlighted with lively color accents, including the classrooms in the basement, the Department of Art offices on the first floor, and the student lounge on the third floor. The glass curtain wall surrounding the gravel courtyard, large windows and skylights provide the interior with intensely dramatic lighting. The windows also provide surprising and exciting views across exterior vistas to other portions of the building and to the Museum. No two spaces inside, or outside of the building are alike, each having a unique combination of plan footprint, elevation, lighting and external view.
CVA classrooms house almost all courses in art history and art education. The building’s sky-lit studios and extensive darkrooms are home to the photography, painting, drawing, new media, foundation, and printmaking classes. The Center for Sculptural Studies (CSS), another Gehry building, houses studio space for sculpture, installation and ceramics. The CSS is also home to all of the ceramic kilns and metals foundry.